(547e) Study of A Novel Biomass Pretreatment Process Utilizing A Modified Taylor-Couette Mixer and the Effect of Cationic Polyelectrolyte On Alkaline Pretreatment and Enzymatic Hydrolysis

Authors: 
Wang, W., Michigan State University


Lignocellulosic biomass has been considered as one of the primary candidates as alternative renewable resources for biofuel production. The presence of lignin is widely recognized as the barrier to cost-effective production, which inhibits enzyme accessibility and decreases sugar yields. The costly pretreatments and large consumption of enzymes are needed to reach high cellulose conversion. Therefore, the removal or effective modification of lignin is required for efficient pretreatment process. Here we report an efficient biomass pretreatment conducted via a novel modified Taylor-Couette mixing system, aiming to overcome the natural recalcitrance of lignocellulosic biomass in a short processing time and facilitate better enzyme accessibility to polysaccharides. Both lignin and hemicellulose were significantly removed after 2 minutes processing, leaving rich glucan content in the residue. Studies on the experimental parameters, such as mixing speed, substrate loading, and enzyme digestibility, were systematically performed. We further investigated the effect of cationic polyelectrolyte on the alkaline pretreated biomass. Structural studies revealed the morphology change of the cell wall in the residue, showing the retention of lignin-containing nanoparticles. The cellulose and hemicellulose conversion were enhanced after pretreatment, suggesting the possibly positive effect of polyelectrolyte on significantly modifying biomass morphological properties, such as increased porosity and improved accessibility of cellulose surface.